Causes of rib pain include fractures, inflammation, pleurisy and osteoporosis, according to MedlinePlus. People with pleurisy experience a swelling of the lining in the lungs and muscle spasms, while those with fractures or cracked ribs feel more pain when twisting or bending.
Pain occurring in the chest can be a symptom of a heart attack, states WebMD. Pain from a heart attack often feels like pressure in the chest and may spread to the neck and jaw, back, arms and upper belly. Indications of heart disease include chest pain that worsens during exercise or when eating a large meal. Other causes of chest pain include shingles, respiratory infection and gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD.